Victoria Behar Mitrani, PhD

UM School of Nursing and Health Studies

M. Christine Schwartz Bldg
Room 432-C
Telephone: (305) 284-9139
Fax: (305) 284-5686


BA, Psychology, University of Miami, 1980
PhD, Clinical Psychology, University of Miami, 1986

Certification and Licensure

Florida Psychologist License # PY 0004414, 1991- Present

Clinical Specialties

Family Therapy – practice, training, and supervision
Families affected by HIV/AIDS and or substance abuse
Families affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias
Families affected by immigration-related separations

Primary Teaching Areas

Research Methods
Health Disparities

Research and Academic Interests

Family functioning in HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, and caregiving

Treatment development, refinement, manualization and fidelity
Health Disparities
Research Infrastructure

Research (selected)

Co-Principal Investigator, Center of Excellence for Culturally-Tailored Hispanic Health Disparities Research: El Centro, NCMHD (Grant #1P60 MD002266-01); Nilda Peragallo, Principal Investigator; 2007-2012.

Principal Investigator, Family Therapy Mechanisms in HIV+ Women in Drug Recovery. NIDA (Grant #1R01 DA016543-01A2) (2003-2008)

Principal Investigator, Family Risk and Protective Factors for Dementia Caregivers.  NIA (Grant # 1 K01 AG 00977-01) (2000-2005)

Co-Principal Investigator, Adherence in HIV+ Women Recovering from Substance Abuse.  NIDA (Grant # RO 1 DA 15004) Daniel J. Feaster, Principal Investigator (2002-2007)

Publications (selected)

Feaster, D.J., Brincks, A., Mitrani, V.B., Prado, G., Schwartz, S.J. & Szapocznik, J. (in press). The efficacy of structural ecosystems therapy for HIV medication adherence with African American women. Journal of Family Psychology.

Mitrani, V.B., Weiss-Laxer, N.S., Feaster, D.J. (in press). Factors related to loss of child custody in HIV+ women in drug abuse recovery. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse.

Mitrani, V.B., Weiss-Laxer, N.S., Ow, C.E., Burns, M.J., Ross, S. & Feaster, D.J. (in press). Examining family networks of HIV+ women in drug recovery: Challenges and opportunities. Families, Systems, and Health.

Mitrani, V.B., Robinson, C., & Szapocznik, J. (2009). Structural Ecosystems Therapy (SET) for Women with HIV/AIDS. In M. Stanton and J. Bray, Handbook of Family Psychology. Blackwell Publishing.

Mitrani, V.B. (2009). Editorial: Reducing health disparities for Hispanics through the development of culturally tailored interventions. Hispanic Health Care International. 7:1, 2-5.

Burns, M.J., Feaster, D.J., Mitrani, V.B., Ow, C., & Szapocznik, J. (2008).  Stress processes in HIV+ African American mothers: Moderating effects of drug abuse history. Anxiety, Stress and Coping: An International Journal. 21:1, 95 - 116

Mena, M.P., Mitrani,V.B. , Mason,C.A., Muir, J.A., Santisteban, D.A. (2008). Extended parent-child separations: Impact on adolescent functioning and possible gender differences, Journal for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing. 13 (1), 50-52.

Mitrani, V.B., Vaughn, E. & McCabe, B.E. (2008) Conflict resolution and distress in dementia caregiver families: Comparison of Cubans and white non- Hispanics. Hispanic Health Care International. 6 (2), 80-88.

Mitrani, V.B., Lewis, J.E., Feaster, D.J., Czaja, S.J., Eisdorfer, C., Schulz, R. & Szapocznik, J. (2006) The Role of Family Functioning in the Stress Process of Dementia Caregivers: A Structural Family Framework. The Gerontologist, 46, 97-105.

Mitrani, V.B., Feaster, D.J., McCabe, B.E., Czaja, S.J. & Szapocznik, J. (2005) Adapting the Structural Family Systems Rating to assess the patterns of interaction in families of dementia caregivers. The Gerontologist, 45 (4), 445-455.

Mitrani, V.B., Santisteban, D.A., & Muir, J.A. (2004) Addressing immigration-related separations in Hispanic families with a behavior-problem adolescent. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 74 (3), 219-229.

Szapocznik, J., Feaster, D., Mitrani, V.B., Prado, G., Smith, W., Robinson-Batista, C., Schwartz, S.J., Mauer, M.H. & Robbins, M.S., (2004) Structural Ecosystems Therapy for HIV-seropositive African-American women: Effects on psychological distress, family hassles, and family support. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 72 (2), 288-303. 

Presentations (selected)

Mitrani, V.B., Weiss-Laxer, N.S., Ow, C.E. & Feaster, D.J. (2009). Examining the Family Networks of HIV+ Women in Drug Recovery: Research Challenges and Opportunities. 20th International Nursing Research Congress Focusing on Evidence-Based Practice. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Mitrani, V.B. (2008) A Randomized Clinical Trial of Structural Ecosystems Therapy for HIV+ Women. In V. Mitrani (Chair) An Interdisciplinary Framework for Health Disparities Research: Advancing Culturally Taillored Interventions for Hispanics. Symposium at the 2008 National State of the Science Congress in Nursing Research, Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science, Washington, DC.

Burns, M.J., Feaster, D.J., Mitrani, V.B., Ow, C., and Szapocznik, J. (2008). Drug Abuse and Stress Process in HIV+ African American Mothers. In S Safren (Chair). Impact of Stress and Coping on Mental Health in HIV. Symposium conducted at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Boston, MA.

Gonzalez-Guarda, R.M., Mitrani, V.B., De Santis, J., Weidel, J. & Vasquez, E. P. (2008). A Framework for Understanding HIV/AIDS, Substance Abuse, and Intimate Partner Violence as Part of a Syndemic Impacting Hispanics in the U.S.: Implications for Primary Prevention Interventions. National Conference of the Association for Nurses in AIDS Care, Tucson, Arizona.

Mitrani, V.B., Szapocznik, J., Feaster, D.J. & Prado, G. (2008). A Randomized Clinical Trial of Structural Ecosystems Therapy for HIV+ Women. International Nursing Research Conference, Jerusalem, Israel.

Mitrani, V.B. (2008). Implementing minority health disparities research. Evidence Based Nursing Conference of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, Miami Beach, Florida.

Ow, C.E., Mitrani, V.B., Feaster, D.J., Burns, M.J. & Ross, S. (2007). Identifying the family context surrounding HIV+ women in recovery. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, San Francisco, California.

Robinson Batista, C.. Ow, C., Mitrani, V.B., & Feaster, D. J. (2007). Using empirical findings to suggest clinical strategies to engage families of HIV+ women in SET. Poster presented at the annual research meeting of the American Family Therapy Academy, Miami Lakes, Florida.

Feaster, D., McCabe, B., Mitrani, V.B. (2006). “Person-specific cross-lagged panel models to examine reciprocal effects over time and amongst family members. Annual Conference of the Society for Prevention Research, San Antonio, Texas.

Mitrani, V. (2006). “HIV and co-morbid conditions.” Invited workshop at the NIMH Annual International Research Conference on the Role of Families in Preventing and Adapting to HIV/AIDS; San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Mitrani, V., Feaster, D., Prado, G. & Szapocznik, J. (2006), "Structural Ecosystems Therapy for improving HIV medication adherence among African American women." NIMH/IAPAC (International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care) International Conference on HIV Treatment Adherence, Jersey City, New Jersey.

Alvarez, R., Vasquez, E., Mitrani, V. B., & Mayorga, C. (2005) “Recruiting HIV + Latina women in HIV/AID research: Lessons learned,” The National Association of Hispanic Nurses 30th Annual Conference. Cultural Competence: A Journey to Improving Health Care for Hispanics. Orlando, Florida.

Mitrani, V.B., Szapocznik, J., and Robinson-Batista, C. (2005) “Structural Ecosystems Therapy for African American women with HIV/AIDS: A presentation of techniques and cases,” Joint Annual Meeting of the American Family Therapy Academy and International Family Therapy Academy, Washington, D.C.

Pequegnat, W., Szapocznik, J., Mitrani, V.B., and Feaster, D. (2005) “Structural Ecosystems Therapy for promoting psychosocial adjustment and medical adherence in individuals with HIV/AIDS: Research and treatment development,” Joint Annual Meeting of the American Family Therapy Academy and International Family Therapy Academy, Washington, D.C.

Szapocznik, J., Feaster, D., Mitrani, V.B., Burns, M., and Grinstead, O. (2005) “Structural Ecosystems Therapy,” Symposium at the NIMH Annual Research Conference on the Role of Families in Preventing and Adapting to HIV/AIDS, New York, New York.

Mitrani, V.B., (2004) “Measuring the family interactions of dementia caregivers,” Paper presented at the meeting of the Gerontological Society of America (57th Annual Scientific Meeting), Washington, DC.

Mitrani, V.B., Feaster, D.J., Burns, M. & Szapocznik, J. (2004) “A research program to examine the family mechanisms of Structural Ecosystems Therapy in HIV+ women recovering from drug abuse,” Poster session conducted at the annual conference of the American Psychological Association, Honolulu, Hawaii.

McCabe, B., Mitrani, V.B., Feaster, D.J., Szapocznik, J., and Czaja, S.J. (2004) “Assessing the family interaction patterns of dementia caregivers,” Poster session conducted at the annual conference of the American Family Therapy Academy, San Francisco, California.

Major Accomplishments/Honors

Second Vice-Chair, Faculty Senate, University of Miami, 2009
Vice Chair, Social and Behavioral Sciences Institutional Review Board, University of Miami, 2005-Present
Young Investigators Award, National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2004
Research Enhancement Award, Office of Research on Women's Health, National Institutes of Health, 2003